Apple’s digital secretary named Siri, an iPhone 4S exclusive, is now responsible for nearly 25 percent of all searches conducted on Wolfram Alpha, an answer-engine developed by Wolfram Research.
As you know, Apple collaborated with Wolfram Alpha on Siri (Microsoft is another licensee), and took advantage of algorithms powering Mathematica, another Wolfram Research product. It lets users type in complex factual queries, and then Wolfram Alpha computes accurate answers from its structured data containing hundreds of datasets.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based Company fancies Wolfram Alpha’s curated knowledge database, which is a nice fit for the iPhone 4S’s factual question answering feature. According to the New York Times’ Steve Lohr, Siri accounts for a quarter of all Wolfram Alpha queries after four months:
Siri accounts for about a quarter of the queries fielded by Wolfram Alpha, whose staff has grown to 200.
Google should be worried, as this could be another sign of Siri users becoming accustomed to retrieving factual answers from Wolfram Alpha and not Google. For example: Telling Siri to “Google the iPhone” launches Safari with Google search results accompanied by text-based adverts, but just asking “How many days are there until Easter” produces a formatted answer from Wolfram Alpha with no advertising whatsoever. This is also important knowing that a quarter of all searches on mobile devices are conducted through voice commands.